If you are looking for ways to pique your child’s interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), we have put together a list of six ideas to help you introduce them to the wonders of technology and science. According to Change the Equation, a STEM education advocacy group, a little over half of the schools offer any sort of computer science class.
This means that is often up to the parents to foster a love of these all important areas of learning in their children. The good news is that most children are naturally fascinated by all things related to science and technology – their natural curiosities want to learn more about how and why things work. Here, we look at a few ways that you can encourage a love of these disciplines.
Look at the world together
The world is literally one big laboratory for children to explore and investigate. Instead of giving them the answers to questions[, encourage them to think about it themselves and find their own answers by looking, touching, smelling, and reading. There are plenty of very basic science experiments that you can do at home to get to the bottom of their questions.
You can also look at coding and building things together, from moveable models and robots to even building your own software and websites. It can be overwhelming if you are not particularly au fait with the tech, but tools such as Whitehat Jr can be fun to look at together.
Look at STEM professionals
There are so many people out there who are masters in the world of science and technology and engineering. Look at NASA astronauts, deep sea explorers, and even well-known people like Elon Musk and Bill Gates. Seeing how others have been successful in the field can inspire them to develop their love and understanding of the subjects.
Give them the tools
Children’s books and online resources can help parents instill a passion for science in their children, but so can the correct toys. And, happily, there are now more excellent choices than ever before. Focus on toys that may be used for a variety of purposes and that can be played with indefinitely. Lego, magnetic tiles, and good old building blocks can give them hours of fun and get them thinking about how things work and go together without realizing it. Of course, it does not even have to be commercially produced toys – sticks and stones can literally be one of the best toys for a child interested in STEM.
Keep it fun
Above all, remember to have fun! You do notwant to bore youngsters or overwhelm them with knowledge; instead, you want to stimulate their problem-solving abilities. Even gaming is good, despite it having a bad reputation. Playing many games, such as Mario Karts, requires problem solving, planning, and timing, all of which are similar to programming. Games like Minecraft, which allow youngsters to plan, construct, and see the outcomes, are similar.